‘Disruptive’ Diets Dictate Menu Trends

We are in the midst of multiple disruptions when it comes to food marketing.

Kale. Truffle. Gluten Free. Local. Fresh. Organic. Free Range. Vegan. Artisanal. Sustainable. Broth. Froyo.

The list goes on. All of these trends point to an “unprecedented generational changeover” happening, according to trends analyst Nancy Kruse, and small businesses have a “strategic advantage” because of it.

“There have been profound changes in your customers environment that have a profound impact on your menu,” says Krause.

However, if you want to profit from the latest crazes, you will have to do more than just use the most-desired ingredients.

“It’s not enough that you’re doing it. You have to communicate it,” says Kruse.

How can you let your customers know that your eatery reflects their tastes?

Promote your menu with small changes that make your offerings more transparent.

As it turns out, ingredients are the biggest factor taken into account when customers decide on a selection—substantially more so than cost and value.

Use these guidelines to make your menu more attractive to your current and future customer base.


Customers want eateries to keep it real. “Millennials are counting quality, not calories,” Kruse says.

Are you delivering “fresh” foods? Meaning, how did your ingredients arrive to your establishment? How were they prepared and presented?

Do you use butter instead of margarine? Do your menu items include artificial sweeteners? Is anything unprocessed? Do you serve seasonal and house-made items?


Consumers are more concerned with ethical treatment and health when it comes to what they digest.

Are your foods free from preservatives, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs and additives? Do you address any animal issues with the “natural” meats you choose?


To reassure customers of your food’s authenticity, tell a good backstory.

Does your brand connect with what you’re serving? Where did the food come from? Where was it cooked? How long was it cooked? How was it cooked? Who cooked it?

Give the impression that your menu items are customized and not mass produced. Words like “hand tossed” make it known that your offerings are one of a kind.

Kruse points out that there are “no standards of identity to govern these expectations,” therefore business owners have a unique opportunity to increase their bottom line with the changing tides.

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